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Creative Alliance founder tells entrepreneurs not to give up on dreams

Speaks in Louisville to small business owners

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (Aug. 28, 2014) — Debbie Scoppechio, a three-time cancer survivor and founder and chairwoman of Louisville’s Creative Alliance advertising agency, brought a simple message to a group of aspiring entrepreneurs: Don’t give up on your dreams.

Debbie Scoppechio speaking Wednesday to entrepreneurs

Scoppechio talked about building her company, changes in the advertising industry and her battle with cancer during an event this week at iHub, a shared workspace for start-up companies in downtown Louisville.

Critics thought she was crazy, Scoppechio said, when she moved here from her native New York in the 1980s and started Creative Alliance. But she told a group of small business owners Wednesday that she never wavered as she led the firm through some lean times, transforming it into an agency with $185 million in billings and a client list that has included Yum Brands Inc., Humana Inc. and Churchill Downs Inc.

Building Creative Alliance, particularly in the early days, required lots of long hours and late nights, Scoppechio said. But a commitment to service got the young firm the attention that it needed.

“We never say no,” Scoppechio explained. “We don’t say no to clients.”

Scoppechio, a former member of both the University of Louisville’s board of trustees and board of overseers, discussed how much she loves her work, her employees and her adopted hometown. She encouraged her audience to pursue things that they love.

“Be passionate,” she said. “Love what you do. Remember integrity above anything else.”